Sunday Metal – Mastodon

Mastodon with “Linoleum Knife”

2018-06-21 training log

Today’s a little different.

Last night I went to see Slayer (with Lamb of God, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Testament). Tired from the show, only a few hours of sleep, so I didn’t really feel like doing a hard session — no need to dig my recovery hole too deep. I was thinking to “jack shit” the session, but that I’d see how it went.

I had a second thought: try sumo.

I am not really built for sumo, but I’ve done it before for a change. I wanted to see how my knees took to it. So I decided my BBB sets would be pulled sumo (work sets were conventional). Also, I wouldn’t really work it — just enough reps so I could get a feel for the movement. This wasn’t about actually getting in reps or work, but more about exploring the movement relative to my knees and other issues.

It wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure. I could only get so far down. Was it flexibility? Familiarity? Stability? Knees hitting “about that critical angle”? Maybe a little of all. So there was a bit more back-raise than there probably should be, but overall things weren’t too bad. Hard to say if it’d be worth considering – but as I start PT for my knees, I’ll talk with the therapist about it.

Anyways, I took it kinda easy today. Did the work, got out.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO

  • Deadlift
    • 175 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 260 x 3
    • 285 x 5
    • 325 x 5
    • 370 x 5
  • Band Pullaparts (superset with deadlift warmups and work)
    • Not tracked, but 15 reps per set.
  • Sumo Deadlift (for BBB)
    • 225 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 225 x 5
  • Upright rows (superset with BBB sets)
    • 105 x 12
    • 105 x 12
    • 105 x 11
    • 105 x 10

Then 13 minutes on the bike

2018-06-19 training log

Light bench day.

Nothing major to report.

I did dump lunges tho. I go see the doc today to get the results of my MRI on my knees, so we’ll see how that falls out. My knees were not feeling hot today so I opted to skip the lunges and did some additional back work instead. Will this be my norm? All depends upon the doc.

One thing I will say. I am debating upping my BBB percentage. 50% is just a good starting metric, but it can be anywhere between 40-60% depending. Plus, there’s nothing saying you MUST use the same across the board: might squat at 50% but bench at 60%. The benching feels just WAY too light, so I am debating upping it.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 5
    • 105 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 155 x 3
    • 170 x 5
    • 195 x 5
    • 220 x 5
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
  • Bent-over Lateral Raises (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 15e x 10
    • 15e x 10
    • 15e x 10
    • 15e x 10
  • Kroc Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 60 x 10e
    • 60 x 10e
    • 60 x 25e
  • Curl-Grip Pulldowns (superset with bench BBB sets)
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 12
    • 125 x 10
    • 125 x 10
  • Pushdowns
    • 90 x 20
    • 90 x 20
    • 90 x 17
  • Slant Board Sit-ups
    • 22 x 15
    • 22 x 12
    • 22 x 9

2018-06-18 training log

Starting cycle 2.

Again, the basic structure right now is:

  • 5/3/1 based
  • Main lifts are 5’s PRO (using 90% TM)
  • Supplemental follows BBB @ 50%, tho scaling the volume up (3 sets, then 4, then 5; every 2 weeks)
  • Forever-based approach to assistance work (push/pull/core 0-50 reps each session). But I’m also adding in and tailoring assistance towards things I know are good for my body (e.g. calf work is not part of the programming but it’s good for my ankle and foot health).
  • Basically trying a 2 leader 1 anchor approach, with 7th week protocols

And so, this is leader #2, or rather the second 3-week cycle, or the second-half of the 6-week cycle: however you want to look at it. Following the exact same programming as the prior cycle, except increasing the weight used and the BBB volume. I have no plans to change the programming over the next 3 weeks – UNLESS – I get something back from the doc regarding my knee.

So this is “5’s week”, so stuff is light but the weights went up. I had no problems with the session, but BBB sets of course are deceptively painful. 🙂 All that went through my head on the last reps of the last sets was that Churchill quote, something like “If you find yourself going through Hell, keep going.” 🙂

One thing I can say is as I think about future cycles (including the forthcoming anchor), I may drop supersets. I think I’ll keep the light stuff, like the band-pullaparts or the bent-over lat raises. But the more intensive stuff like the front plate raises or the upright rows? I think I’ll skip. Main reason? I don’t think I’m getting the full benefit I could out of them because I peed out first from everything else being exhausted from the prior squat or deadlift work. I like that they do make me work overall harder, but I’m dubious as to the overall benefit. TBD.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO)

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 195 x 3
    • 210 x 5
    • 245 x 5
    • 275 x 5
  • Band Pullaparts
    • Not tracked (every squat set, 15 reps each time)
  • Squat (superset with front plate raises)
    • 165 x 10
    • 165 x 10
    • 165 x 10
    • 165 x 10
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way overhead)
    • 35 x 12
    • 35 x 12
    • 35 x 10
    • 35 x 10
  • Leg Extensions
    • 80 x 12
    • 80 x 12
    • 80 x 12
  • Stair Calves
    • 70 x 15
    • 70 x 12
    • 70 x 11

Sunday Metal – Arch Enemy

Arch Enemy, live in Tokyo 2015

 

2018-06-15 training log

Today was good. I really missed pressing so I’m glad to be back at it.

It also feels like pressing is going to be good to my shoulders and upper back, regarding my pain issues. I do have to be mindful — I can’t ego lift here, I have to ensure head through and that the shoulders shrug a bit at the top. But precisely that is what should be helping me out (vs. say a press with a nice layback that’s basically like an upright incline (bench) press).

I admit some confidence issues here. I haven’t lifted heavy in too long. I haven’t pressed in ages. When I started the 5’s PRO I felt the 5’s might be too much come the 3rd (1+) week. On paper it worked: if I can 1RM 195, 5 repping 165 should be cake. Sure enough it was, but still… I had confidence issues. Which is also kinda silly because what’s the worst? I miss. But that’s also the thing: I shouldn’t miss, especially this first cycle — everything should be easy. Mostly if I did fail it would be pointing to not starting out correctly. But hey, so far so good!

I didn’t do split squats today. My MRI for my knees is later today, so why push it.

I continue to enjoy lying triceps extensions, with my head off the bench and the bar going back behind my head — great stretch, and it feels really good.

Anyways – first cycle of getting back to heavier lifting and 5/3/1-based methodologies down. Next week starts the 2nd part of the 6-week cycle: squat and deadlift go up 10#, press & bench press go up 5#, but everything else remains in terms of exercises and approach (still 5’s PRO and all that). I will say that depending on how the knee stuff goes with the doctor, I might wind up changing a little bit; we’ll see. But the plan is to stay the course.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO

  • Press
    • bar x 5
    • 70 x 5
    • 85 x 5
    • 105 x 5 (was in a nice groove, kept going for 2 more reps)
    • 130 x 5
    • 150 x 5
    • 165 x 5
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
  • Bent-over Lateral Raises (superset with press warm-up sets)
    • 12e x 15
    • 12e x 15
    • 12e x 15
    • 12e x 15
  • Normal-grip Pulldowns (superset with press work sets)
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 12
  • Lying Triceps Extensions
    • 70 x 12
    • 70 x 12
    • 70 x 10
  • Slant Board Sit-ups
    • 22 x 15
    • 22 x 12
    • 22 x 9

2018-06-14 training log

Man, it felt good to put 4 plates on the bar. I remember the first time I deadlifted 405# and how happy I was to hit that milestone. And today to be repping 405 as just part of a first cycle (i.e. “light”) is just a reminder to me that progress comes, it may just not come on your desired timeline. But consistency is what gets you there – eventually. 🙂

But I only did my work sets today: did not do the BBB sets. I’ve got my knee MRI tomorrow and I didn’t feel like pushing it. Furthermore, this whole “get on the spin bike” thing is kinda interesting to me. I noticed yesterday while just walking around that my knees didn’t feel so bad. I could bodyweight squat down (cold) without much problem. Going down the stairs didn’t feel as bad. I really do NOT know yet if things are just this way or if in fact the spin bike work is having a positive impact — but I’m intrigued.

So I just did the work sets, the assistance work, and then spent about 12 minutes on the spin bike. Again, I’m slowly working myself up to 20-30 minutes.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO

  • Deadlift
    • 170 x 5
    • 215 x 5
    • 255 x 3
    • 320 x 5
    • 365 x 5
    • 405 x 5
  • Band Pullaparts (superset with deadlift warmups and work)
    • Not tracked
  • Upright rows
    • 105 x 12
    • 105 x 12
    • 105 x 10
    • 105 x 9
  • Seated Leg Curls
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 9
  • Stair Calves
    • 70 x 13
    • 70 x 13
    • 70 x 12

2018-06-12 training log

Pretty good day.

Benching went well. I am going into these heavier sessions with some trepidation, and I realized why: past injury. Whenever I’ve gotten to heavier weights, it’s when injury or things like the arm pain set in. So I’m a little wary: will the pain come back? since it’s a shoulder issue, am I risking a different (and worse) injury, especially if I don’t keep tight (as I’ve realized doing that – the crush grip – really helps mitigate things)? It’s not that I can’t move the weight, it’s just the fear of injury again.

It’ll be interesting in the coming weeks: next cycle, weights go up; cycle after that, weights go up and start to touch more so in places I’ve not been before. It’s actually exciting, and yeah… a little fear of the weights is good, especially when you overcome.

Anyways, benching was fine. Focusing on the crush grip does really help, and I was much better about maintaining that throughout the rep, as I’ve had a habit of loosening up during the descent. During the BBB sets I really worked on tucking the elbows and better drive out.

I did NOT lunge today; I’ll come back to that.

Everything else was just everything else. Reasonable assistance work.

I saw the orthopedic doc yesterday about my knees. Cursory examination looks like it may be a knee cartilage issue. No immediate signs of things like a tear or other worse problems, which is good. I’ll be getting an MRI in a few days to get a better picture of things, and then we’ll go from there.

One thing doc suggested I do between now and then is spend 20-30 minutes/day on a spin bike. So ok, I started that today. Only did 10 minutes, because the lower quads started to feel it. Interesting sensation, as normal stationary bikes don’t hit me like that, but I guess the angle in the spin bike… Anyways, I’ll work up to it. We’ll see how this fares for me.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO

  • Bench Press
    • bar x 5
    • 100 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 155 x 3
    • 190 x 5
    • 215 x 5
    • 240 x 5
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
  • Bent-over Lateral Raises (superset with bench warm-up sets)
    • 12e x 15
    • 12e x 15
    • 12e x 15
    • 12e x 15
  • Kroc Rows (superset with bench work sets)
    • 60 x 10e
    • 60 x 10e
    • 60 x 23e
  • Pushdowns
    • 85 x 20
    • 85 x 20
    • 85 x 20
  • Slant Board Sit-ups
    • 22 x 12
    • 22 x 12
    • 22 x 9

2018-06-11 training log

That was painful. 🙂

Honestly, I wasn’t sure how today would go. Scheduled for a top set of 5 reps @ 300 lb, and honestly I wasn’t sure about it. In recent times I did do 295 for reps, and this is more. Of course on paper there was every reason for me to hit it — my actual 1RM, the fact the 295 was “a cycle ago” so the small increment should work out just fine, etc. So there’s no reason for me to have doubted.

But I did — because of my knee.

Today I’ll be seeing an orthopedic doc about it to start to figure out what’s going on.

That said tho, the squats themselves went pretty well. I’m thinking about changing how I squat tho: turning around. I think facing the mirrors is causing me to well… to look at them more than I should. I’m wanting to check form, check depth, etc., when I really need to just squat. I squat facing the mirror because of spacing issues, but maybe who knows — maybe I should just close my eyes. I’ll see.

BBB sets – gah. Slay me. It’s a deceptive amount of work. 🙂 I am happy with my appproach tho (taking a cue from my RP experiences) of incrementing the work over time. It’s 5/3/1-philosophy-consistent tho: start light. Since it’s a 6-week run, first 2 weeks get 3 sets, second 2 get 4, third 2 get 5 sets.

And what really gets me is the supersetting. No the front plate raises aren’t killer, but what it does is adds to the exhaustion. The torso and everything is already tired from the squats, then you need the torso for all this stability. Couple that with breathing heavy and well, it adds up. But I am happy to stick with it, because I do feel my work capacity is increasing here.

Anyways, things are as they are.

We’ll see what the doc says today.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO

  • Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
    • bar x 5
    • 125 x 5
    • 155 x 5
    • 190 x 3
    • 235 x 5
    • 270 x 5
    • 300 x 5
  • Band Pullaparts
    • Not tracked
  • Squat (superset with front plate raises)
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 10
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way overhead)
    • 25 x 20
    • 25 x 20
    • 25 x 13
    • 25 x 12
  • Leg Extensions
    • 75 x 12
    • 75 x 12
    • 75 x 12
  • Stair Calves
    • 70 x 12
    • 70 x 12
    • 70 x 12

Sunday Metal – Amon Amarth

Amon Amarth, from Rock am Ring 2016 (despite what the video title says)